The U.S. Vision for Space Exploration guides the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA's) challenging missions that expand humanity's boundaries and open new routes to the space frontier. With the Agency's commitment to complete the International Space Station (ISS) and to retire the venerable Space Shuttle by 2010, the NASA Administrator commissioned the Exploration Systems Architecture Study (ESAS) in 2005 to analyze options for safe, simple, cost-efficient launch solutions that could deliver human-rated space transportation capabilities in a timely manner within fixed budget guidelines. The Exploration Launch Projects (ELP) Office, chartered by the Constellation Program in October 2005, has been conducting systems engineering studies and business planning to successively refine the design configurations and better align vehicle concepts with customer and stakeholder requirements, such as significantly reduced life-cycle costs. As the Agency begins the process of replacing the Shuttle with a new generation of spacecraft destined for missions beyond low-Earth orbit to the Moon and Mars, NASA is designing the follow-on crew and cargo launch systems for maximum operational efficiencies. To sustain the long-term exploration of space, it is imperative to reduce the $4 billion NASA typically spends on space transportation each year. This paper gives toplevel information about how the follow-on Ares I Crew Launch Vehicle (CLV) is being designed for improved safety and reliability, coupled with reduced operations costs. These methods include carefully developing operational requirements; conducting operability design and analysis; using the latest information technology tools to design and simulate the vehicle; and developing a learning culture across the workforce to ensure a smooth transition between Space Shuttle operations and Ares vehicle development.